SLP Idea of the WeekDanielle at Sublime Speech did a post about using craft sticks to facilitate articulation games. She used 60 regular sized craft sticks and separated them into groups of ten. Then she colored the tips of each set of ten a different color with markers (for six colors total) and used a fine-tip Sharpie to write the numbers on each set of 10. Each color was given a different number. For example, all 10 pinks were numbered "1". All 10 blues were numbered "2" and so on. Then she links to a .pdf of three different articulation games she plays with her artic sticks. The idea is simple, uses materials you probably already have around, and gives you a brand new way to practice artic with your kids. Highly recommended.
Excellent Blog Posts I Read This WeekI read several rather serious in nature, but excellent blog posts this week.
- Laura at Apraxia Adventures talked about her decision to wait an extra year before sending her daughter (who has Childhood Apraxia of Speech) to kindergarten.
- Kristen at Motherhood Uncensored wrote about good vs. bad days when parenting young children and the rather depressing ratio she's experienced lately at her house. I completely understand. I relate to the direct relationship between hormones, lack of sleep, and mood and the guilt that follows a testy day.
- Swistle wrote a particularly eloquent post about weight and daughters after her six year old mentioned that she hoped she wouldn't gain any weight. I haven't dealt with the issue yet. Ava is still just a little over three, but the day will come all too soon and the thought makes my heart sink.
And then to counter all that weightiness, look at the amazing greenhouse Jessica and her family built and the incredible life experience her children had participating.
Ava this WeekAva has so much to say lately. She's really having a language explosion. She wants to discuss everything that enters her mind in long complicated sentences and in conversations that go on turn after turn. Her speech isn't quite keeping up though and as a family (and extended family) we're having trouble understanding her a little more often lately. Fortunately, we can almost always work around it. When the direct approach of shushing everyone around and having her repeat it five times in a row doesn't work, I start questioning her. Can you tell me something about it? What color is it? Where did you see it? Can you show it to me? Etc... So far, she isn't getting too frustrated. I am thankful for that small favor.
Weekly MichaelI gave Michael free access to my tape dispenser. Wow! There's tape everywhere. I have to peel bits off the carpet before I vacuum. I've found tape designs (squares, lines, crosses, etc.) on walls. He's using tape liberally in art projects. He also tapes up imaginary boo boos. Once I had to keep him calm when he had wrapped tape around one of his own fingers so many times that he could neither bend the finger nor get the tape finger cast back off. I keep reminding myself that tape is inexpensive and relatively easy to clean up. In exchange he gets some great fine motor practice and a huge boost to his creativity. And we've only been through 2 1/2 rolls and counting...
Ava's and Michael's Weekly Home Therapy NotesMichael is working on initial, medial, and final /f/ and /v/. We've put /s/ on the back burner temporarily because he was doing well with it and we felt our time would be better spent making more progress on the /f/ and /v/ for now. He's doing well. The sound production is more and more accurate with less effort. There's no generalization yet, but that's ok.
Ava is finally, finally, finally making some solid progress on /k/. We're working on it in all three positions and she can do it. Her production is still exaggerated and an approximation and she still requires significant effort to make the back sound, but she can do it!!! Interestingly enough, she's also started to play around with clicks that use the back of the tongue. It's like she's finally discovering how to use the back of her mouth. We're working mostly with the /k/ sound for now and putting other sounds on hold for now.
Weekly HomeschoolingIt occurred to me that since we started slightly more formal homeschooling, I've stopped doing other types of projects with the children. We haven't done an art or science project in weeks. We haven't been playing games or doing puzzles. We've only been reading books at naptime and bedtime. The children enjoy the lessons we've been doing, but I don't want to completely drop everything else and hadn't realized how many of those other things dropped out.
This week I made an effort to find a little more balance. One day we simply sat down and read library books instead of doing a formal reading lesson. Another day we played with pattern blocks instead of doing a math lesson. There just doesn't seem to be enough time in the day. I have so many things I want to do with the children. I want to continue our lessons and find more time for reading, art, and science. Let's not forget speech too. I also want the children to get outside every day and to engage in an extended period of independent play. And then I have some minimal household things that need to be done as well or we'll be hungry and buried in laundry, dishes and clutter.
And those are my thoughts for the week on homeschooling.